Essential things every woman should carry for self defense

Like the saying goes; forewarned is forearmed. This is why it is important for women to consider safety and self defense as a serious matter as it can lead to loss of life, rape or mental breakdown.

Time and again, stories of sexual harassment, molestation or even murder of women have dominated news bulletins and daily conversations. All these stories are not made up which is why it is crucial for women to take safety precautions as a personal responsibility.

According to a 2020 report by Uganda Police, during the pre-COVID period, 593 women were reported as victims of sexual violence and there were 73 reported teen pregnancies. In addition to this sexual violence statistics increased along with HIV exposure.

There hasn’t been so much information on self defense in Uganda, but here are some essential things women can use in such times to deal with the perpetrator.

A whistle

Despite its size, the power of a whistle should never be underestimated. Small as it is, it makes the loudest alert sound. It is not a common occurrence to hear a whistle blow unless on the road or at schools. Thus, blowing the whistle could alert people, attract attention to the act and also scare away the culprit.

Pepper spray

This is probably the most common item women are encouraged to carry. Like a gun to a policeman, pepper spray should be with you all the time for protection because it causes excruciating pain to the culprit. Also, its effect is instant which makes it effective. It is very portable and currently different brands are giving excellent packaging options that disguise the content, so it’s not so obvious while it’s in the bag. However, while using the spray be careful to spray it at a distance as it may end up having an effect on you as well.

A sharp pencil

While it is useful to have a pencil to take notes, a sharp pencil can come in handy when it comes to self-defense. If used right it can double as a weapon and protect you from anyone who intends to harm you. A sharp pencil is extremely painful and can penetrate skin; the trick is to keep it sharpened all the time. 

A swiss knife

Yes! This is how serious it gets. A swiss knife is an all-around portable cutter, tweezer, corkscrew, scissor and screw driver. Just the size of a finger, it can cause serious blood gushing injuries and is very effective for protection. However, this should be used as a last resort and with absolute precaution because the injuries can instead turn on the victim. Be careful to keep a firm grip on the tool so that it is not grabbed from your hand.

A GPS Tracker

This feature is available on most mobile devices. Devices using the IOS operating system have “Track my iPhone” and Android devices have an installed location tracker. Remember to keep these apps on when you travel or stay out late in the night. Also, ensure that you notify family and friends if you find yourself in a place you don’t trust or with the wrong group of people. If possible, take picture of the car plate and share with trusted friends so that they keep track of your movements.

Basic self-defense skills

While it is important to have different tools in your handbag for safety, having the skills to defend yourself from a perpetrator are much more important. These skills may even be as basic as knowing how to injure the perpetrator where it hurts, wriggling out of a choke hold or fighting off a stranger. Amazingly, these lessons can even be taken online using simple tutorials on YouTube. However, if you can afford to go to a trained professional in the area, it is worth the time and effort to get these skills.

Women are more prone to sexual assault and violence compared to men, since they are more vulnerable and not as strong in physique. This is why it is important to take precautions and protect yourself in case of any eventualities. This is why women are encouraged to take self-defense classes to protect themselves or even a loved one from harm.